'Discharge water' from Chao Phraya Dam
More heavy rain expected in some areas; elderly man drowns in Sa KaewThe Meteorological Department yesterday recommended the discharge of more water from the Chao Phraya Dam ahead of expected downpours in the Lower North and Upper Central regions this weekend.
"The coming downpours mean the water volume will increase," it said.
To date, Northern provinces such as Sukhothai and Phitsanulok have been struggling with flood water.
According to the Royal Irrigation Department, flooding has ravaged 63,600 rai (10,175 hectares) in Phitsanulok. In the Central region, the Chao Phraya River overflowed in six districts of Ayutthaya. Overflow also hit Suphan Buri, Angthong and Nakhon Pathom.
In the Eastern region, the Royal Irrigation Department expects flooding in Sa Kaew's economic zone to end within the next few days. As of press time, the flood-water level there had already dropped to between 30 and 100 centimetres.
However, before the floods subsided, they claimed one life in the province. An elderly man was found dead yesterday in Aranyaprathet district after a strong torrent of flood water swept him away as he was walking home after collecting relief items.
A search by villagers and rangers found the body of Samorn Kaewkomon, 73, at a spot 150 metres from the road leading to Nonsang village.
"He waded through flood water to get relief items. He then walked back with the stuff but he couldn't make it home," a local lamented.
Samorn was reported missing at 3pm on Wednesday.
Serious flooding hit Sa Kaew several days ago. Even after the flood began to subside, the water level was still at least 30cm in Aranyaprathet municipality. At some spots, the flood water was still a metre deep.
Rescue workers successfully caught a 1.5-metre-long crocodile on the railway near Dong Ngu village in Aranyaprathet district.
In nearby Prachin Buri province, flooding will likely drag on for up to 10 days.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday officially dismissed Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra's claim that it was withholding the budget meant for use as compensation to some flood victims in the capital.
Governor's claim dismissed
"The government does not owe the Bangkok Metropolitan Adminis-tration any money," Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit said.
He was speaking at a news conference held to discount Sukhumbhand's claim about delayed payment of flood compensation.
Also present at the event were Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general Wiboon Sanguanpong and Deputy Government Spokeswoman Sansa-nee Nakpong.
Yongyuth also blamed the BMA for breaking budget regulations.
He said the government had approved Bt50 million and Bt1.9 billion for the BMA on two separate occasions for use as compensation to flood victims.
"From that amount, the BMA has Bt753 million left but it has failed to return it to the central government," Yongyuth said.
Wiboon said that because the BMA did not submit the remaining portion to the central government, its request for an additional budget of Bt1.1 billion for the same purpose was not approved.
"We have informed the BMA that it must submit that remaining portion from the old budget before requesting the new one," he said.
Wiboon also said the BMA failed to provide details about the recipients of flood compensation by the deadline of June 26.